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Post by : jedidah

Political Analyst Mutahi Ngunyi has opined that President William Ruto is in a tight corner regarding the Finance Bill 2023. Defending the bill, Ruto said paying taxes is the only way to achieve economic growth, sustainable development, and prosperity that can be shared by all. He said they will ensure improved provision of public goods which demonstrates the advantages of living in a community.

The President has also tasked the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) with collecting Sh3 trillion in the financial year 2023/24. This will be an increment from the Sh2 trillion collected in the last financial year and is meant to assist the government to cut on borrowing. Kenyans decried that the increase in taxes will add to the financial burden, taking into consideration the high cost of living.Whichever way he goes, whether dropping the Bill or not,  Ngunyi said the President has no better option.

“Dear Ruto: You should use the principle of the man who created modern Turkey, President Kamal Ataturk: “…For the people, despite the people”,” he tweeted on Monday.

“You are damned if you increase taxes. And damned if you do not. Either way, you lose. Do it for the people despite the people. Iko Swali?”

The Finance Bill 2023 seeks to amend various laws relating to taxes. The President aims to increase government revenues from taxes collected to be able to fulfil his campaign promises. Among the proposals is to raise the income tax from the current 30 per cent to 35 per cent for those earning Sh500,000 and above.

It seeks the introduction of a tax on human hair, eyelashes, switches, and artificial nails in a move that will raise the prices of these beauty products whose usage is on the rise.

If passed, the bill will also increase the VAT on petroleum products from 8 per cent to 16 per cent.

The bill was received with mixed reactions from leaders and Kenyans saying the changes would affect income tax, value-added tax, and various fees and penalties as well as compliance requirements.

By Hallan Emodia

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